Art Prints For Sale
Left: Andy Warhol, Self Portrait, 1978, Unique Piece. Courtesy: Sims Reed Gallery, London. Right: Andy Warhol, Sidewalk FS II.304, 1983, Screenprint, Edition of 250. Courtesy: Gregg Shienbaum Fine Arts, Miami
Commanding consistently high prices across the board, Andy Warhol is one of the online art market’s most collected artists. Instantly recognizable and always iconic, the words “Andy Warhol art prints for sale” are enough to send collector’s hearts racing. Yet his prices can massively vary, depending on the subject matter, the era in which they made and the edition number. We take a close look at the available offers online for Andy Warhol’s art work, through the prism of his astonishingly successful working life.
Artworks for Sale
The 1950s—The Early Days
Before revolutionizing the art world with his images based on products in popular culture, Andy Warhol was a highly successful commercial illustrator in New York City. Making frequent use of the blotted line print technique, which literally involved pressing two papers together, he was able to re-imagine an image in a variety of ways. However, he longed to be taken seriously as a fine artist and relentlessly attended galleries, dance performances, museums and the opera to educate himself in all aspects of New York’s wealthy cultural life. It wasn’t until 1956, after leaving America for the first time, and visiting Japan, India, Egypt and Italy that he wanted to escape the restrictive nature of the commercial world and began painting on canvas. His work from this period exemplifies his unique vision that was about to take the world by storm and have profound effect on the way America and the world viewed itself.
Artworks for Sale
1960s—Taking the World by Storm
The 60s went by in a whirlwind of hedonism and creativity for Andy Warhol and the works emanating from this period are highly sought-after, often forming the mainstays of the world’s major art collections. It was not until 1962 that Warhol first exhibited the works that would sear his name into art history. His Campbell Soup Cans caused a sensation and were quite unlike anything seen before. Lined up one-by-one on shelves in an imitation of a shop display, the first entire set of 32 canvases were sold to the gallerist Irving Blum for $1000—Warhol was delighted with the price! This ability to fuse everyday, mass-manufactured images with mechanical reproduction, would become known as Pop art. It was around this time that Warhol turned to the photo-silkscreen print technique that was usually only used for commercial purposes. It not only became his signature medium but further linked his art work to those of advertisements.
Artworks for Sale
1970s—Leader of the American Avant-garde
The 70s found Andy Warhol exploiting his new status as head of the American avant-garde by turning his Factory into a highly profitable business. His notoriety earned him huge fees for the series of celebrity portraits that included John Lennon, Michael Jackson and even the Shah of Iran. His famous portrait of Mao Zedong was created in 1973, and in his book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, 1975, Warhol uttered his famous phrase: “Making money is art, and working is art and good business is the best art.” Although beginning in the 60s, Warhol developed his Death and Disaster Series of works in the 1970s to explore his fascination with death but also how people can become neutralized by repetition. “When you see a gruesome picture over and over again”, stated Warhol, “it doesn’t really have an effect.” Warhol always embraced a casual approach to image making, and the imperfections and smudges were more than tolerated but celebrated. “When you do something exactly wrong,” wrote Warhol in his book POPism, “you always turn up something.”
The 1980s—His Final Years
In 1987 Warhol died of cardiac arrhythmia following a routine surgery on his gallbladder, but before his death he had begun to draw inspiration from Renaissance painters such as Sandro Botticelli. His friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat and other prominent young painters from the New York scene had thrust him firmly back into the limelight with the editor of Art Forum, John Coplans, stating that Warhol’s “choice of imagery, forces us to squarely face the existential edge of our existence.”